Albany State Regulators Reduce Broadband Expansion Count of

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Reduce Broadband Expansion Count

Albany state regulators say that select addresses, which Charter® counted towards a tie-up to bring high-speed internet service to underserved communities in Upstate New York, won’t count since they come under a state-proposed broadband expansion plan. Upon the approval of the Time Warner Cable® acquisition by Charter® in 2016, the telco is bound to expand the network to 145,000 underserved or un-served business and homes inside 4 years in 4 equal phases a year. Charter® will have to face fines if it fails to expand the network and reach the interim target set by New York Public Service Commission.

The representatives of Charter® informed the PSC officials in January that the company had expanded the network to reach potentially 42000 new customers, which surpassed the December interim target by 6000 odd addresses. The Commission informed Charter® in February that some of the addresses they reached come under areas to have granted finance as per the broadband expansion plan through other companies. However, Charter® has expanded the network to meet the interim goals.

“Charter® is expanding broadband access in New York and raised speeds across the state,” said Andrew Russell, the company’s Director of Communications for Northeast town. “We are meeting our commitments and are on track to continue to do so.” Since the Commission keeps the addresses private, the areas where Charter® expanded broadband still remains unclear.

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The Cuomo administration created the ‘New NY Broadband Program,’ in 2015 and granted $500 million towards economic development to Telco companies in order to build broadband networks in underserved areas of NYC. The state granted $209 million for the final phase of the broadband expansion program, out of which, Verizon® got $70 million for the same.

The Commission also points out that over 6000 locations Charter® plans to expand the network in order to meet the 145000 target, won’t count. The broadband expansion projects that Charter® must complete are not revealed to the public due to competitive reasons.

“The inclusion of these addresses violates both the letter and the spirit of the (merger agreement),” wrote the New York State Public Service Commission’s General Counsel Paul Agresta in a letter to a Charter® attorney in February.

Following the announcement of the final phase of funding toward ‘New NY Broadband Program,’ in January, the Cuomo administration told that 99.9% New Yorkers would get accesses to fast speed internet service once it completes.

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